Thursday, December 24, 2015

Required Reading 2015: Poetry

And now for my list of required poems from 2015. As with my Non-Fiction list, this is absolutely not exhaustive. Nor should it be considered a Best of 2015. These are just 50 or so poems that I stumbled on and that I bookmarked so I could come back and reread them throughout the year.

Again, enjoy!

Kazim Ali. "Earthquake Days." from Poetry Magazine.

Arlene Ang and Valerie Fox. "Scarecrow Lists of Failures and Grocery Items." from Thrush Poetry Journal.

Julie Brooks Barbour. "Fragmented." from Stirring.

Ace Boggess. "I Don't Know Why You Still Care, But Do You?" from The Pedestal Magazine.

Maari Carter. "Homemade Sin." from Sundog Lit.

Sara Biggs Chaney. "St. Eugenia Declares Her Allegiances." from Thrush Poetry Journal.

Kazumi Chin. "Bruce Lee's Fist is Cut Open by a Glass Bottle." from Boxcar Poetry Review.

Franny Choi. "Bedtime Story." from The Journal.

Adam Clay. "Biography at the Speed of Light." from Tupelo Quarterly.

Tasha Cotter. "Solar." from Superstition Review.

Lisa Fay Coutley. "Researchers Find Mice Pass On Trauma To Subsequent Generations" and "Delayed Communique from Poet to Astronaut." from KR Online.

Annie Diamond. "Self-Portrait in the Bed of a Stranger." from The Fem.

Anna Finn. "When my sister tells me she doesn't believe in god anymore." from Boxcar Poetry Review.

Ariel Francisco. "Post Hurricane, Miami." from The Boiler.

Jennifer Ghivan. "Bird Woman." from The Boiler.

Elise Hempel. "Mosaic." from Valparaiso Poetry Review.

Sara Henning. "The Things of the World Go On Without Us." from Quarterly West.

Allison Joseph. "Night Watch for Traveling Husband." from Whale Road Review.

Les Kay. "Self-Portrait as Gallery Opening." from Superstition Review.

Athena Kildegaard. "Turkey Hen." from Up The Staircase Quarterly.

Tricia Knoll. "Walking into the Shadows of Ashford Forest." from Up the Staircase Quarterly.

EJ Koh. "Leaning on Heaven." from Boxcar Poetry Journal.

EJ Koh. "Paradise." from Midway Journal.

Debora Kuan. "Teen Ghost." from Blue Lyra Review.

Peter LaBerge. "Testimony (Eclipse)" from Linebreak.

Katie Manning. "Sex & Santa." from Stirring.

Caits Meissner. "M A N I F E S T O for my homegirls." from The Fem.

Anna Meister. "Trigger." from The Adroit Journal.

Kathryn Merwin. "Empress (The Diviner)." from The Blueshift Journal.

Jennifer Met. "Talisman." from Sleet Magazine.

Carly Joy Miller. "Why You Tried to Drown." from Memorious.

Rosalie Moffett. "Weird Prayers." from Blackbird.

T.A. Noonan. "Three Poems from The Ep[is]odes: a reformation of Horace." from Split Lip Magazine.

Sarah Rose Nordgren. "Kindling." from The Adroit Journal.

Hieu Minh Nguyen. "White Boy Time Machine: Instructional Manual." from Devil's Lake.

Sharon Olinka. "Becoming Donkey Lady." from The Drunken Boat.

Patty Paine. "Antiphony." from Thrush Poetry Journal.

Jennifer Richter. "I Find Myself Shelved between Rich and Rilke." from Thrush Poetry Journal.

Linda Rodriguez. "Crow Mother (for Frida Kahlo)." from The Pedestal Magazine.

Nicole Rollender. "Labor." from Stirring.

Gianna Russo. "Old Orange Avenue." from Gulf Stream.

Whitney Schultz. "Lot's Wife Speaks." from ELKE Journal.

Brittney Scott. "Faith in Love and Quantum Physics." from Linebreak.

Danez Smith. "So I guess it won't be a bullet." from Linebreak.

Melissa Stein. "Semaphore." from Memorious.

Alison Stine. "Dear Weather." from The Rumpus.

Talin Tahajian. "Dream sequence for birds." from Boxcar Poetry Review.

Adam Tavel. "On a Biographical Pamphlet of Luther Ladd, First Martyr of the Civil War, Who Died During the 1861 Baltimore Riot." from Valparaiso Poetry Review.

Rhiannon Thorne. "See How the Hurtsickle Stays." from The Pedestal Magazine.

Ocean Vuong. "Someday I'll Love Ocean Vuong." from The New Yorker.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Required Reading 2015: Non-Fiction

It's that time of year. When everyone is looking back on the year and making lists of their favorites. So, what the hell. I'll make some lists too. This is my list of essays published in 2015 that I consider required reading. It is in no particular order, other than alphabetized. And it should in no way be considered complete and exhaustive. But these 20+ essays stayed with me long after the first time I read them. These are essays I have come back to over and over throughout the year and that I will likely come back to throughout the next year.


Antonio Aiello. "Equity in Publishing: What Should Editors Be Doing?" from PEN America.

Kazim Ali. "An Open Letter to Aimee Nezhukumatathil." from The Rumpus.

E. Kristin Anderson. "To Men Who Use Art As Assault." from Quaint Magazine.

The Apogee Editors. "FROM THE EDITORS: The Politics of 'Blind Submissions' Policies." from Apogee Journal.

Xochitl-Julisa Berkshire. "Submission as Social Action." from Lunch Ticket.

Lorraine Berry. "How the Literary Class System is Impoverishing Literature." from Lit Hub.

Black Lives Matter. "Herstory." from the Black Lives Matter Website.

Angela Chen. "Poet Gregory Pardlo: 'I won the Pulitzer: Why am I invisible?'" from The Guardian.

Beth Duckles. "Two Suicides That Changed My Life." from Narratively.

J. Lester Feder. "This Is What It's Like To Be An LGBT Syrian Fleeing For Your Life." from Buzzfeed.

Elisa Gabbert. "Should White Men Stop Writing? The Blunt Instrument on Publishing and Privilege." from Electric Lit.

Kia Groom. "A Call to Arms: Bite the Hand that Feeds You." from Quaint Magazine.

Jen Hoffer. "If You Hear Something Say Something, Or If You're Not At The Table You're On The Menu." from Entropy.

Mira Jacob. "37 Difficult Questions From My Mixed-Race Son." from Buzzfeed.

Mira Jacob. "I Gave A Speech About Race To The Publishing Industry And No One Heard Me." from Buzzfeed.

Saeed Jones. "Self-Portrait Of The Artist As An Ungrateful Black Writer." from Buzzfeed.

Sarah Kurchak. "I'm Autistic, and Believe Me, It's A Lot Better Than Measles." from Medium.

Peter LaBerge. "Letter to Kate Gale of 'AWP is Us'." from The Adroit Journal.

The Mongrel Coalition Against the Gringpo. "CHECKLIST." from Drunken Boat.

The Mongrel Coalition Against the Gringpo. "THE GOLD STAR AWARDS." from Poetry Magazine.

Morgan Parker. "Tokenism May Cause The Following Side Effects." from Poetry Magazine.

Claudia Rankine. "What's in a Number?" from Medium.

Clint Smith. "The Stories Tamir Rice Makes Us Remember." from The New Yorker.

Rebecca Solnit. "Men Explain Lolita to Me." from Lit Hub.

Rachel Syme. "Pay Women the Money they Need to Make the Culture." from Medium.

Meredith Talusan. "What I Learned From My Neuroatypical Husband." from Buzzfeed.

Yasmin Belkhy. "Open Letter to the Columbia Journal & Columbia University." from Winter Tangerine.

Yasmin Belkhy. "Open Letter to the Literary Community & the Whole Wide World." from Winter Tangerine.

Claire Vaye Watkins. "On Pandering."from Tin House

xTx. "Obligatory End of Year Blog Post That's Pretty Weak But Oh Well So Am I." from Nothing to Say.

Jenny Zhang. "They Pretend To Be Us While Pretending We Don't Exist." from Buzzfeed.

* UPDATE: Through 12/31/15, I continued to update this list, adding new essays and articles as they are published and as I find them. As such, some of these have publication dates after the date this list was posted.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

An Open Letter to My Fellow Americans

Note: The following letter was sent to my Senators, my Congresswoman, my Governor (who happens to be a Presidential candidate), and to many of the Presidential candidates from both political parties. I hope you will write your stories and send them to your elected officials.


My name is Anthony Frame. I live in Toledo, Ohio. I was raised in a Roman Catholic Church in a city that prides itself on its faith. We are, after all, “Holy Toledo.” I was also raised in a homogenous, nearly all white, all Catholic part of Toledo. But, some of my earliest memories include driving out of town, along I-75, past the mosque, The Islamic Center of Greater Toledo. The center describes itself as magnificent and it certainly is. Architecture is not my passion but it is something I have a great interest in and The Islamic Center is probably the reason why.

As I grew, I was lucky enough to be exposed to many different people of many different ethnicities, faiths and backgrounds. It is one of the reasons I love Toledo. Whether through our many restaurants, our many places of worship, or our many buttressed neighborhoods, it is quite difficult to not find yourself exposed to someone who grew up differently than you. You do, indeed, have to go out of your way to stay within your narrow tribe here in Toledo.

I was a sophomore in college when the planes hit the Twin Towers. I knew little about geo-politics and even less about the specific geo-politics relating to the Middle East. But I had friends. Friends who were Muslim. Friends who were from the Middle East. Friends who were from Palestine. And I saw them change after 9/11. I saw them become quieter, smaller, more invisible. I saw them do everything they could not to attract attention to themselves. I later learned one of my friends, on the day of the attacks, asked another of our friends if she hated her. Because this first friend was Muslim. Because she was from the Middle East. These two friends, the day before, had loved each other like sisters. Now, one worried the other hated her.

That day and the weeks that followed, I heard some of my fellow Toledoans talking about the Middle East. Few of them could pronounce the countries they were condemning. Few of them knew anything about the religion they were condemning. Many of them, I'm sure, had spent their lives avoiding people different from themselves. I felt sorry for them. They would eat at our Middle Eastern restaurants, they would drive past that magnificent mosque, but they would not stop to get to know these warm, loving and welcoming people. They would not sit with them, hear them talk and laugh and dance and sing. Oh, God, how they can dance and sing!

For some reason, I wasn’t afraid for my Muslim friends. Maybe I was too young and too na├»ve. Maybe I was blinded by the privilege of being in college and of being surrounded by people who stood by and defended my Muslim friends, who stood by and hugged and wept with my Muslim friends in the days after 9/11. I guess I just believed, in America, we didn't have to worry.

I am afraid for my Muslim friends now. Very afraid. The current climate of xenophobia and, more specifically, Islamophobia gives me great reason to be afraid. I read stories of  harassment towards Muslims and towards those perceived to be Muslims. I hear stories about violence towards people from the Middle East. Violence perpetrated by adults. Violence perpetrated by children. I watch the television and hear politicians – mainstream politicians – politicians who believe they should hold the highest office in our country – saying Muslims shouldn't be allowed in our country. They say Muslims running from horrors we in America cannot even imagine might be terrorists. They say my friends might be terrorists. They say our screening methods, though the most strident in the world, are not enough. They shout fear and anger and their crowds cheer for that fear and that anger. I'm afraid for my Muslim friends and I have good reason to be afraid for them.

This is not the country I was promised. I grew up being told that this was the land of the free, the land of the brave, the land where all people, no matter their backgrounds, could come together and learn from each other, grow from each other, and build a better, safer, more prosperous world. Instead, we continue to dehumanize people. We continue to condemn people we don't know, people we refuse to know. We continue to blame the actions of a few on all who resemble those few in any tiny, microscopic way.

I have spent plenty of time with people from the Middle East and I can tell you all of the ways they are exactly like you and me. I can tell you all of the wonderful, amazing, enriching ways they are different from you and me. I can tell you all of the amazing things you are missing out on if you are giving in to this fear, this hysteria, this un-American hate.

But I won't tell you that. Because I shouldn't have to tell you that. In the Twenty-First Century, you should already know those things. If you don’t, you can and you should and you need to find that out for yourselves.

Please, stop. Stop filling the airwaves with this hysteria. Stop filling the streets with this violence. Stop filling our children's heads with this hatred.

This is not the country I was promised. This is not the country my Muslim friends, those who moved here and those who were born here, were promised.

Please. We are Americans. We are better than this.

Anthony Frame

Friday, December 4, 2015

The Indianola Review Issue One, Winter 2015

We're coming closer to the release of the debut issue of The Indianola Review.  I'm incredibly proud of the work the IR poetry team has done and of the incredible work we are lucky enough to publish. The issue will have nineteen poems by Timothy Duffy, Kate Przybylski, James Cihlar, Amy Jo Swing, Stacey Balkun, Nada Faris, Athena Kildegaard, Courtney Druz, Sarah Ghoshal, Genevieve Payne, Cindy King, Allison Joseph, MK Sukach, Kate Fadick, Carrie Meadows and Elijah Tubbs.

We've also made our first set of Pushcart Prize nominations:

Courtney Druz - "Kingdom in Foundation"
Elijah Tubbs - "From Our Window"
Athena Kildegaard - "By Sighs"

We're hitting the shelves later in December so get your subscriptions now.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Smells Like Teen Spirit

I want to thank The Good Men Project for publishing my poem, "Smells Like Teen Spirit," which is, of course, about deodorant.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

New Weave Review: Nokia Koulouris' The sea with no one in it

I have a new review up at Weave Magazine, this one of Niki Koulouris' debut poetry collection, The sea with no one in it. Check it out here.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Poetry Editor at The Indianola Review

I'm thrilled to announce that I have a new gig. I am now the official Poetry Editor at The Indianola Review

We're a brand new, upstart journal and the managing editor, as well as my fellow creative editors, have big ideas and big plans. So send us your poetry, your fiction and your non-fiction. And if we like it, we'll pay you for it. Check out our submission guidelines for more info.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Some Thoughts on Grief, Sentimentality and "Faith."

A couple years ago, The North American Review published one of my poems, "Faith." Today they were kind enough to publish an essay/article/blog thing I wrote about the poem. It's up on their blog. Check out out.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Lament for the Dead

My Lament for the Dead poem, "from The Gospel of Bullets," is now up at the LftD website.

It is in response to the death of Robert Dean Shull, Jr, 24 years old, who was killed in Odessa, TX during a shootout with police on Tuesday.

From the LftD project organizer:

"Lament for the Dead is an online community poetry project which will mark the death of every person killed by police this summer, and every police officer who loses his or her life in the line of duty, with a poem.

The first lie that hate tells us is that any other person is not as human as we are.

This project resists that lie by recognizing each other’s humanity, even in the most difficult places."

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Website and Two Chapbooks

This is a long overdue update.

The website is going through a redesign and is nearly finished. Hopefully, it is smoother, cleaner and easier to explore.

Also, I am happy to announce that two new chapbooks are available:

To Gain the Day has just been released by Red Bird Chapbooks and contains a series of poems drawn from my experiences as an exterminator. It also includes two photographs by my wife, Holly Burnside, who also provided the cover for A Generation of Insomniacs.

Everything I Know ... was also released. Many thanks to ELJ Publications for making my "Everything I Know..." poems available. This one includes a great cover by my great friend, Jonathan Schnapp.

Go over to the Books/Store section and you can order your own copies!